Road travel tends to be among the most common transportation means all over the world. Unfortunately, the global statistics of road accidents show that every year more than 1.25 million die in such incidences. In the United States, the statistics show the death of over 37000 people due to road crashes, along with 3.4 billion getting disabled or injured.
Being a part of a road accident is hence quite common in the United States. So, it is crucial for every motorist to know what should be done after the occurrence of an accident. If people understand the measures that need to be taken immediately after an accident, it can help in saving many lives, while also quickening the process of recovery. Here are a few important steps to initiate always after a car accident has occurred:
Stop and remain at the place of incident
The first and foremost thing to do after you are involved in any car accident on the road is to halt at the place of incident. Remaining at the incidence scene till the responders arrive also acts as compliance with the law. If you run away, you could be charged with a hit-and-run case which is an offense by law. It could land you deep in trouble and mark you as a criminal. After the accident, immediately get off your car carefully, and stay safely away at a distance for procedures of post-accident to take place after the law enforcement arrives. However, if the other person involved flees the scene, immediately inform the West Coast Trial Lawyers, who are among the reputable law firms related to car injury in the field. In such situations, a lawyer of auto injury would provide you help and legal advice to get compensation on the injuries and property damage sustained.
Protect the scene of the accident
The next vital step you should take is barricade the incident scene as a measure of caution for other motorists. You can do this by setting up flares at around 30 meters around the scene. One at the rear and one in front of the accident. If you do not happen to have flyers, you might have to utilize the triangular warning signs of hazard and display them appropriately at the rear and the front.
Such barricades will help in keeping away people from causing more accidents by crashing into the wreckage of accident vehicles. It also acts as the indicator to the first responders like the police officers and medical personnel whenever they look for you. In case you fall prey to the accident in the center of a road, and your respective vehicles stay in a state to drive, try to drive them to the side, off the center, while you await the assistance of the police.
Notify the police
Regardless of the accident’s severity, you should contact the local police authorities. Police involvement ensures an official traffic collision report is created. This document may be used for legal purposes, and most insurance companies request it to begin a claim. You can inform the police by calling 911. This also ensures that anyone injured receives medical assistance as soon as possible.
While you are notifying the police, try to give them as many details as you can about the accident. Among the essential information that should be relayed to them are the following:
- Place of the incident – This ensures the police may easily locate you in less time and that any required medical attention arrives at the right time. To do this effectively, you should name the highway or road you are on or the near distance of the closest town from the location you are in.
- Injured persons – This information will make sure the medical personnel are dispatched by the police to the scene of the accident even before their arrival. That is why it is vital that you give proper descriptions of the victims’ conditions involved in the incident. The criticalness of their injuries should be notified.
Assessing damage and injuries
While you await the arrival of medical and police help, you may walk around to assess the situation of all the people involved in the incident. If it happens to be a solo car accident where only you are involved, you may have to check yourself for any accident injuries passengers usually sustain. Your assessment must focus on fractured bones, bleeding, skin bruises, skin cuts and other types of pain internally.
After you have finished self-assessment, it is recommendable for you to relax and sit down as accident victims are prone to panic. Inform your personal car accident injury lawyer as that would help in getting you compensation and justice for your sustained injuries. Communicate with other motorists that are involved. While having such a communication, try to maintain composure and avoid any discussion over the accident and whose fault it was. You should focus on any kind of injuries and whether they require urgent medical attention.
You can also assess property damage by doing an evaluation of vehicles’ condition involved. Visual assessment may give you a perspective over how serious an accident it was. You may take pictures that may be preserved during your assessment, as they might be useful in case vehicles are relocated before the police arrive. Some companies of insurance may also want such pictures as proof of the accident even while they are waiting for the police officers report to arrive.
Inform your attorney
As a part of handling the whole process of the accident, you must positively notify a lawyer of auto injury, preferably from law firms of a car injury that are reputable like West Coast Trial Lawyers. Such a lawyer would be useful as they would advise you on the things to be done during the full process to make sure justice prevails.
The personal car accident injury lawyer might advise you over which necessary paperwork is to be kept like police reports of the accident, assessment reports of vehicle damage, medical reports, and receipts. Such documents can prove crucial while seeking for compensation from the insurance company.
Have a word with the police, make the necessary submissions
After the arrival of the police, they may probably want a word with the onlookers, other passengers and drivers involved. As you would be among the drivers, try to make a reliable submission on the happenings in the seconds just before the occurrence of the accident. Your statements might get recorded, so try to be as accurate as possible. If you have any additional evidence which may support your statement like recordings from your DashCam, then it is advisable for you to present such proof to the law enforcement for assessment.
The police probably would seek statements from other witnesses of the accident and gather valuable information sources. Whatever data they get during that stage would be useful for them to make a reliable and accurate report or abstract post-accident. In your submissions and statement, it is essential to avoid pointing fingers at anyone as it would be vital for the police to establish the person at fault with precision and accuracy.
Inform the company holding your insurance
While the police assess the scene of the accident, you should inform the insurance company about your involvement with the accident. Such companies that work with their agencies and agents rely on the prompt notifications about accidents to start the necessary chain of events towards compensation.
At the current notification stage to your company of insurance, avoid taking any liability until a report is released by the police officer. However, the company might want you to give them additional information related to the parties and vehicles involved. For example, inform them about your name, insurance number, number of driver’s license and other pertinent details that might be required to ensure easy tracking of your records and papers of insurance.
Exchange information wherever necessary
You might also want to focus on gathering some information on the other involved vehicle and driver. Among the essential information that might be necessary sometime during the processing post-accident of issues like insurance include personal contacts, the driver’s name, their number of driver’s license, registration number of the involved car, insurance number of vehicle and the driver’s residential address.
Such information can prove to be crucial in situations where insurance companies would need to trace and track the vehicles and driver involved within the accident, relying on the police report’s outcome. Besides, the collection of personal information about the driver may become a starting point to build a good relationship even after such an incident.
Follow up over the process of compensation
After the completion of the full process, as the companies of insurance take over insurance claims processing, you probably would want to have follow-ups regularly with the agent. It might have to be done as some companies take long unprecedented amounts of time to issue compensations and reimbursements. It is greatly advisable for you to engage with law firms of a car injury that will assign you with a personal injury lawyer for a car accident to help with the pursuit of expedited compensation. The West Coast Trial Lawyers take a further step to file, after which they follow-up over any cases in the court that seeks justice for people who got injured in a car accident, especially in particular cases where insurance companies refuse to take liability along with accident situations of hit-and-run.